Super Noob question #1, Well, more like can-o-worms #1, but what's a noob to do?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-10-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

Long time reader, first time poster....(Ahh the, Classics. Always wanted to write that)

I have owned an Epson EMP-S1H for several years (6+). I just moved into a much larger home and have the opportunity to build a dedicated HT in a room previously used for the same purpose by the prior owners....

To start the room is rectangular 180" front to back , 161" side to side and 104" to the ceiling. There are no windows and I have access to the backside of every wall. There is a projector well in the rear wall at ceiling height, which I believe will work well with the projector I have in a ceiling mount mode forward projection configuration.

My first question is.....Wait for it.....

What is the practical maximum size screen I can fit in this room?

I am a good DIY'r having been a past general contractor and current Full time HW design Engineer. I have no trouble woodworking or rebuilding where needed.

I am on a shoestring budget and will DIY whatever I can...ie I'm keeping the projector and will buy speakers based on future advice from the experts here.

What I really need from you guys right now is a best suited setup for the room described above. I'm not looking for equipment recommendations right now, just what I should be planning for by way of setup...Screen size, Surround type, seating arrangement etcetera.

Primarily I game and watch movies, but want the setup to be movie focused first, gaming second.

Believe me I appreciate the scope of the question I've asked, I just can't get past step 1. I can't get myself out of the never ending loop of what if's....

Help!
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-10-2012, 01:04 PM
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The room size does not determine screen size. What does, is your seating distance from screen. What will that be? The rule of thumb is: Screen width X 1.5 = seating distance. EX: 8' wide screen(110" diagonal) X 1.5 = 12' seating distance. There are numerous DIY screen options out there. Some involve painting, and some do not. Check out the "DIY Screen" section here.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-10-2012, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post

The room size does not determine screen size. What does, is your seating distance from screen. What will that be? The rule of thumb is: Screen width X 1.5 = seating distance. EX: 8' wide screen(110" diagonal) X 1.5 = 12' seating distance. There are numerous DIY screen options out there. Some involve painting, and some do not. Check out the "DIY Screen" section here.

OK, understood. You are basing this "rule of thumb" from THX recommended viewing angle of 36 degrees?

So the projector I have (If I place it in the alcove at the rear of the room) will be too far away to reduce the image to a 96" wide screen. Are there options(Other than moving the projector towards the screen) to correct for this?

I like the seating at 12'. It will allow me to differentiate the rear surround noise better, but I really would prefer the projector at the back of the room. In fact i'd like to enclose the alcove with a glass front (with an air circulator) to keep the fan noise out of the HT.

At 15' throw I'm looking at about a 120" wide screen(10').(I'm going to measure the minimum tonight) is that an uncomfortable size for viewing given the seating would be at 12'. I could move it out to 15' but would have no room to get the rears "really" behind me.

Any Help?
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-10-2012, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himduggan View Post

OK, understood. You are basing this "rule of thumb" from THX recommended viewing angle of 36 degrees?
So the projector I have (If I place it in the alcove at the rear of the room) will be too far away to reduce the image to a 96" wide screen. Are there options(Other than moving the projector towards the screen) to correct for this?
I like the seating at 12'. It will allow me to differentiate the rear surround noise better, but I really would prefer the projector at the back of the room. In fact i'd like to enclose the alcove with a glass front (with an air circulator) to keep the fan noise out of the HT.
At 15' throw I'm looking at about a 120" wide screen(10').(I'm going to measure the minimum tonight) is that an uncomfortable size for viewing given the seating would be at 12'. I could move it out to 15' but would have no room to get the rears "really" behind me.
Any Help?

You need to figure out what will work FOR YOU. This is subjective and different people have different comfort points. Personally, I project an epson from 19' back onto a 120" 16:9 screen. My front row seating is 11' screen to eyeball and it feels right to me.

I suggest that before you finalize your screen, you project onto a blank wall for a month. Adjust projector distance and seating distance until you have something you are comfortable with. This is what I did when setting up my system. I placed the projector on a high dresser and moved it back and forth in the room. I also moved a temporary sofa. Only when the family was comfortable with size and distance did I commit to a screen, and later to theater seating.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-10-2012, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayn_j View Post

You need to figure out what will work FOR YOU. This is subjective and different people have different comfort points. Personally, I project an epson from 19' back onto a 120" 16:9 screen. My front row seating is 11' screen to eyeball and it feels right to me.
I suggest that before you finalize your screen, you project onto a blank wall for a month. Adjust projector distance and seating distance until you have something you are comfortable with. This is what I did when setting up my system. I placed the projector on a high dresser and moved it back and forth in the room. I also moved a temporary sofa. Only when the family was comfortable with size and distance did I commit to a screen, and later to theater seating.

That's an excellent sugestion. Imeasured the minimum screen width I could create with a fifteen foot throw at 100 inches. So in-line with the original suggestion. What should I cover the wall with? Just a coat of white paint?

As an aside I am able to lengthen the room by up to six feet, The current front wall is in a terrible state, so will need a complete rebuild. It would be easy to move when that happens.

I could also curve the wall at that time, Is there a benefit with a curved screen?

Thanks again
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himduggan View Post

That's an excellent sugestion. Imeasured the minimum screen width I could create with a fifteen foot throw at 100 inches. So in-line with the original suggestion. What should I cover the wall with? Just a coat of white paint?
As an aside I am able to lengthen the room by up to six feet, The current front wall is in a terrible state, so will need a complete rebuild. It would be easy to move when that happens.
I could also curve the wall at that time, Is there a benefit with a curved screen?
Thanks again

A white painted wall will work great for your purposes. I wouldn't worry about removing texturing or anything fancy. Just paint it white and try. One thing people tend to forget is that you get used to the size very quickly. A 120" image looks huge. For about 6 hours of viewing, and then it looks "right". When you try different sizes, live with each one for awhile, and I mean a couple of days and a few movies before deciding.

The curved screen won't do anything for you at the sizes you are discussing. Curved screens in large theaters are used to equalize the distance from projector to screen on the edges and somewhat to also equalize distance to seating. However, it also narrows the ideal seating locations. Early projection systems used curved screens as a means of increasing brightness at the expense of viewing angle, but that is no longer an issue with modern projectors. Just go flat.

A better question would be that since you are rebuilding that wall, should you consider building a false wall and using an acoustically transparent screen? This has the advantage of placing the speakers, especially the center right in the middle of the image. That makes for a better soundstage. Of course AT screens tend to cost more, and there are a number of different options including perforated vinyl and various woven materials. There is good info over in the screen forums on this.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayn_j View Post

A white painted wall will work great for your purposes. I wouldn't worry about removing texturing or anything fancy. Just paint it white and try. One thing people tend to forget is that you get used to the size very quickly. A 120" image looks huge. For about 6 hours of viewing, and then it looks "right". When you try different sizes, live with each one for awhile, and I mean a couple of days and a few movies before deciding.
The curved screen won't do anything for you at the sizes you are discussing. Curved screens in large theaters are used to equalize the distance from projector to screen on the edges and somewhat to also equalize distance to seating. However, it also narrows the ideal seating locations. Early projection systems used curved screens as a means of increasing brightness at the expense of viewing angle, but that is no longer an issue with modern projectors. Just go flat.
A better question would be that since you are rebuilding that wall, should you consider building a false wall and using an acoustically transparent screen? This has the advantage of placing the speakers, especially the center right in the middle of the image. That makes for a better soundstage. Of course AT screens tend to cost more, and there are a number of different options including perforated vinyl and various woven materials. There is good info over in the screen forums on this.

Thank-you for your help. I think I know what to do for the next month. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions once I'm comfortable with the screen dimensions.

So much to learn!
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 11:26 AM
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Even easier than a painted white wall is a roll of photographer's backdrop paper... Matches the look / color of screen material(s) - a roll from B&H Photo is like $22...

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 01:21 PM
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Since you're only trying to gauge screen size, a white king size sheet from Walmart will work as well as any thing.

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I ordered a roll of Seamless Background Paper, 53" wide x 12 yards, Super White, #93. I'll let a seam run horizontally along the wall at 53"up from the floor. and cover the entire wall. This way I can draw on it and take notes while experimenting.

For me, this was the best simple solution I could have asked for. I'll come back with an update when I get to the next step. I'm excited to start, but have to wait for the paper to be delivered.

In the mean time I'm turning my attention to reversing some of the previous owners DIY mayhem.

PS I really like the idea of an acoustically transparent screen, with the center speaker actually in the center. i'm over in the screen Forum reading as much as I can!
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-13-2012, 07:48 AM
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All great advice. Dont plan on setting everything into place once and being done. You own the projector already which will help a ton. Like others said, play around with it. Try a huge screen, try a smaller screen, try flipping the whole room 18 degrees. Try anything.

I plan on borrowing our work projector one weekend and doing the same thing.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-13-2012, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah that's my plan. Maybe not the 18 degree part, but everything else I can setup. Was considering getting some Black paper on a 12" roll to make a border for the screen dimension on the Photographers backdrop paper once it's up on the wall.

Hate waiting for stuff to be delivered, but I'm really looking forward to "playing" with the theater setup...
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